Position Statements

ATA on Crossbows

The ATA believes that crossbows are viable shooting and hunting equipment that provide opportunity for a segment of America’s hunters and recreational shooters. As a result of the Pittman-Robertson Act, crossbows are subject to the Federal excise tax and thus, are considered archery equipment by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state wildlife agencies.

The ATA leaves the seasons and regulations governing the use of crossbows for hunting to each state wildlife agency. ATA believes that when populations of wildlife, like deer, are overabundant, state agencies should make use of every type of hunting equipment to help control and manage those populations.

-June 26, 2008

ATA on Airbows

The ATA was asked by its members and representatives of state wildlife agencies for its opinion regarding whether airbows constitute archery equipment. While the ATA certainly recognizes the airbow to be an innovative piece of shooting equipment, the airbow nevertheless lacks basic components of standard archery equipment (e.g., a string system and limbs). For this reason, the ATA does not consider airbows to be archery equipment.

In addition, the airbow (unlike archery equipment) is not subject to federal excise tax, the basic funding mechanism for state wildlife agency activities, which means no portion of the proceeds from airbow purchases contribute to the state wildlife conservation activities supported by Pittman Robertson funds – at least not to the ATA’s knowledge. As a consequence, airbows do not appear to be treated as archery equipment by the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Currently, state wildlife agencies are considering if airbows should be included in hunting seasons and, if so, the seasons in which airbows belong. In general, the ATA leaves the hunting seasons and regulations governing the use of hunting equipment to each state’s wildlife agency and its hunters. Yet ATA also strongly supports the long-standing traditions of fair-chase hunting and equal opportunity for all hunters.

-July 16, 2016